As much as I get amusement out of awkward situations, at my core I live for what’s comfortable. I like knowing what to expect. I like knowing how to do things. I like knowing where I’m going when I’m driving. These things are much easier to tolerate than being uncertain or lost or out of place. But just because something feels comfortable, doesn’t always mean it’s right, even though it may feel that way.
I think back to the fact that I spent three years in Syracuse post-graduation and sometimes I beat myself up over it. Why did I stay so long? Ultimately I knew that Syracuse wasn’t the place I needed to be in order to grow up and really become the adult version of myself. And yet when I was living there, it felt right. Or something. Looking back, I’m realizing that this content feeling was actually extreme comfort masquerading as happiness. I wasn’t particularly fulfilled with the life I had built for myself in Syracuse. I knew I could do better. I didn’t want to be far from my family, but I knew I could see other places and challenge myself. Yet I was so damn comfortable that I was hesitant to make a change.
It’s almost like when you’re lying on the couch and suddenly it’s midnight and you know you really should get up and take your contacts out and go to bed. But you’re wrapped up like a burrito in a bunch of blankets and you just can’t force yourself to move, even though you know you’d ultimately be happier if you got into bed.
Comfort can disguise itself as happiness in any number of situations, whether it’s a job, a relationship, a friendship, or a living situation. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to just assume you really are happy. As someone who’s been that weird blend of happy-comfortable before, I strongly recommend taking a step back and making sure that high levels of comfort aren’t blocking you from doing something that would ultimately make you feel more fulfilled or more energized or more appreciated or any other positive adjectives.
Sometimes you just have to get up off the figurative couch, break free of your blanket burrito, take your contacts out, and get into the bed you belong in, even though you’re so warm and cozy on the smaller, stiffer couch. It’s worth the few minutes of pain to find yourself in a situation that’s even better than your blanket nest.